Ducati is to lose the first of the special concessions granted at the start of the 2014 season. The two podiums which Ducati scored at Qatar bring its dry podium total to three, which means that the fuel allowance for all Factory Option Ducati bikes will be cut from 24 liters to 22 liters, as we reported on Sunday night. The allowance of 22 liters is still 2 liters more than the 20 liters used by Yamaha and Honda, who race without any concessions.
The extra fuel allowance was part of a package of extra allowances granted to Ducati to persuade them to remain a Factory Option entry and not to switch to the Open class. Manufacturers entering MotoGP for the first time in 2015, or like Ducati, did not have a dry win during the 2013 season, were granted a number of exceptions to the standard rules. Such factories were given 24 liters of fuel rather than 20, were allowed to use 12 engines a season instead of 5, were not subject to the freeze on engine development, were allowed unlimited testing, and were given the softer tire allocation granted to the Open class entries.
Such concessions are subject to performance penalties, however: 1 win, 2 second places or 3 podium finishes means that the fuel allowance for that manufacturer is reduced to 22 liters. 3 dry wins mean that the manufacturer loses access to the softer tire, and must use the same tire allocation as Honda and Yamaha.
With Andrea Dovizioso taking second, and Andrea Iannone finishing third, Ducati's podium total since the first race of 2014 climbed to three. Dovizioso had scored another third place at Austin in 2014, also in dry conditions. The podiums scored by Dovizioso at Assen and Cal Crutchlow at Aragon did not count towards this tally, as they were set in wet and flag-to-flag races. This means that Ducati loses 2 liters of fuel, and will race with 22 liters from Austin onwards. All of Ducati's Factory Option bikes - both the Factory Ducatis of Dovizoso and Iannone, and the Pramac bikes of Yonny Hernandez and Danilo Petrucci will have less fuel at their disposal. The Avintia bikes of Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio are not affected, as they are Open class entries, and will keep 24 liters of fuel.
The reduction in the amount of fuel will not pose a particular problem for Ducati. At the presentation of the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 in Bologna, Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall'Igna told MotoMatters.com that they were not concerned at losing the fuel. Ducati had not had to use more than 22 liters at any of the races last year.
The next concession which Ducati could lose is the use of the softer tire. Should Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone (and perhaps even Hernandez and Petrucci) rack up a total of three wins in dry conditions, then the Ducati riders would be forced to use the harder allocation of tires, the hard and medium rears, rather than the medium and soft. Scoring three wins will not be easy, given the level of competition they must overcome.
Losing the tire will be the last concession Ducati could lose. Engine allowance, engine development and freedom to test remain unchanged until the end of 2015. From 2016, a new set of regulations will come into effect, which will see all of MotoGP racing as a single class. For a fuller look at the 2015 regulations, see our MotoGP rules primer.
Below is the press release issued by MotoGP Race Direction:
ANNOUNCEMENT FROM RACE DIRECTION
Ducati fuel allowance reduced after Qatar podiums
Following the Ducati Team’s results at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar last weekend, at which Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone were both on the podium, its fuel allowance has been reduced from 24 to 22 litres.
MotoGP Race Direction has officially notified the Ducati Team regarding the regulations affecting its MotoGP Factory Option entries, which under Article 126.96.36.199.5 of the FIM Road racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations means that the concession of a 24 litre fuel tank capacity will be removed effective immediately.
This is due to the fact that Ducati Factory option machines have now achieved three podiums in dry conditions since the start of the 2014 season: Dovizioso’s 3rd place in Austin 2014, his 2nd place in Qatar 2015 and his teammate Iannone’s 3rd place in the same race.
From the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas until the end of the 2015 season, the fuel tank capacity for all Ducati Factory option machines will be a maximum of 22 litres.
This applies to Ducati machines entered under the Factory Option, which include Ducati Team’s Dovizioso and Iannone, as well as Pramac Racing Team’s Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez.
The Avintia Racing Open entries of Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio are not affected.